PATCH-WORLd Research Phase Results. 6.10.08 Karvia - Finland Project 2nd Meeting.
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Karvia - Finland
Project 2nd Meeting
“About a decade ago, some kind of movies and cartoons such as Star Trek or The Jetsons presented us with a vision of family life that seemed light years away to us: who could imagine a life in outer space, filled with electronic gadgets like holograms, electronic diaries and alien furry household pets? Merely ten years later, this is not so unimaginable anymore: Cell phones, PDA’s, electronic pets, the internet,… all seem to be quickly incorporated in families’ everyday lives”
(Livingstone & Bovill, 2001; Van Rompaey, 2002; Mackay & Ivey, 2004).
General ICT incorporation and development in Italy
1) Analysis and review of the literature (existing researches, studies, reports)
Review of the web – existing cross-national, national and regional researches, projects, initiatives, good practices, etc.;
Review of the ISTAT statistics studies
2) Interviews with experts in the field of ICT researches and in the educational sphere with:
3) Survey on 20 families from different Italian regions and with different educational and professional backgrounds – all having a child or children aged between 11,18 and over.
Italian access to ICT (ISTAT report)
In Italy the access to ICT at home is growing rapidly, especially in families with at least one child.
Followingthe ISTAT survey the main technological tools used by the Italian families are:
Owners of DVD players, digital decoders, mobile phones, parabolic aerials and PCs have increased in number since 2005.
Increased access to Internet: improves the quality of home connection, decreases, in fact, the number of narrowband connections (through traditional telephone line or IDSN) and increases the number of families using the broadband (ADSL or other types of broadband connection).
Levels of ICT ownership at home is generally linked to cultural, socio-economic and generational factors
Families formed only by 60 year old people or over do not, in general, have access to technological tools: only 6.5% uses a PC and 4.8% has access to Internet. Broadband connection (2.2%) is practically non-existent.
Furthermore, the ownership on new TV linked technologies by this type of family is very limited: parabolic aerial (10.6%) and digital decoders (6.4%).
The only technological tools with widespread ownership (besides colour TV) is the mobile phone (52.2%).
At the other end there are families with at least one child under age: PC and Internet access (69.7% and 51.8% respectively).
These families have also the highest ratio of broadband connections (21.1%) while mobile phones have reached the same level as TV sets (96%). Also video recorders (82.4%) and DVD players (75.1%) are commonly owned.
The most disadvantaged families are those in which the father is a manual worker or is unemployed.
Between families where the father is a normal worker and those of managers or professionals there is a gap of about 30% in PC ownership and 37% in access to Internet.
The difference between these two types of families is less relevant but still wide, also for cheaper technologies such as DVD players (14%) and is practically non-existent as regards mobile phones.
For some technological tools the difference between families of professionals and managers and those of normal workers is increasing: access to broadband Internet for instance goes from 17% to 21% and the ownership of digital TVs increases from 4% to 8%.
Trend of the Internet use per age
The peak in the use of PCs is between 11 and 19 years of age (more than 75%) and for Internet from 15 to 24 (more than 67%) and it rapidly decreases with age. The use of the PC in people between 35 and 44 years of age decreases to 53.8% and the difference in the use of Internet is more contained (45.7%). Only 16.4% of the people between 60 and 65 uses a PC and 12.3% uses Internet. For the over 65, the use of these technologies is only a marginal factor.
Patterns of access to a home computer
The timing is good: PC and internet use is on the rise, with 70% of
young people now using it at home, school or elsewhere.
A deeper overview: our research with the 20 families
A number of factors appeared to have contributed to the high levels of computer ownership in the families surveyed.
First, many parents stated that they bought computers to support their child’s education and to provide further educational opportunities for their children
Second, a large number of parents used computers themselves for leisure and work purposes.
Third, some families suggested that they needed the technology to keep in contact with distant relatives.
Finally, a number of families regarded computers as an integral part of every
day life in the twenty-first century.
Frequency of use of computers in household in rural/urban areas
Children from urban areas are more likely to use a computer at home
than those in rural areas, especially for game activities.
PATTERNS OF USE
Use of a technology is not the same as access. The main use of ICT at home,
according to the families interviewed for the survey, is for the following activities:
The parents and children use of the ICT in Italy
GAME AND RECREATION
The use of computers for reasons different from work or study, in particular as a playing tools, has a crucial role in the computer culture.
Playing is also a way of learning: it is an activity through which an individual relationships with the computer can be established and is a way also to understand one’s level of competence and skills. The results show that certain skills learned via computer can lead to social enhancement, e.g. problem-solving skills and communication skills, as well as social development.
Another result is that new technologies can help children to express their skills.
The majority of children and teen-agers interviewed declare to prefer the use of ICT tools for leisure purposes rather than for school work.
The majority of children and young people interviewed state that they preferred to use ICT for leisure purposes than for school work.
Use of the Internet, computer games, leisure activities recorded in the ICT logs included the following:
• Surfing web sites related to their popular cultural interests.
• Playing networked, online games.
• Finding cheats for computer games.
• Using chat rooms.
•Using instant messaging (sometimes with webcams).
• Downloading music.
• Downloading photographs.
Some children reported pretending to their parents that they were using the home
computer for educational purposes when they were actually using it for ‘fun’.
A minority of parents argued that console games and non-educational
computer games have developed particular skills in their children, such as
making them think, or developing factual information about specific topics.
However, it is hard to identify and measure these ‘gains’ because they are so
embedded in the pupils’ everyday lives.
A particular gap in parental knowledge relates to video games. Children like to play videogames and sometimes they play with their parents.
There is also a huge possibility for recreation as television, radio and magazine media increasingly move to electronic formats.
In general the parents don’t know the games contents
Only a third of parents who were surveyed said they play videogames with their children some or all of the time. Most of those parents are younger than 40 and part of a generation that grew up playing video games themselves.
EDUCATION - What children say:
ICT is regarded as making homework less boring because they use computers as: ‘cool’;
interactive and multimodal texts are more interesting than books;
ICT save time (e.g. it is easier to write and revise documents on a computer than by hand) and enhance the presentation of children’s work;
the Internet is a good source of information (range and depth) and educational materials (such as revision websites);
ICT enable multi-tasking and is perceived by children to improve grades
Internet offers readily availableinformation for children’s school projects and researches.
ICT contribute both to making school work more enjoyable and also to pupils’ perceptions of achievement, therefore it is perceived as motivational.
The majority of children and young people believe that ICT competence would be important for their futures and careers.
The interviewed who use computers at home for school work at least once a week are also the same subjects who believe that using a computer can improve their grades and have most home-based electronic resources.
EDUCATION - What parents say:
The majority of parents believe that skills in ICT would be vital for their children’s future.
Their comments are often linked to the importance that ICT might play in
children’s future careers.
The majority (84%) of parents agree with the statement that ‘Using a computer helps my child to learn useful things’.
Families buy computers for their educational potential.
The majority of parents believe that computers help their children to learn useful skills and gain knowledge
enabling them to find new sources of information;
enhancing the presentation of their work;
providing more opportunities for revision/consolidation of learning;
saving time on mundane tasks such as editing; and increasing their motivation.
What are the barriers to using ICT for educational purposes?
a lack of explicit instruction to do so by teachers;
a lack confidence on how to use ICT as applicable to specific subjects;
a lack of interest in particular subjects per se
This shows clear implications in terms of addressing how schools deliver out of school ICT opportunities for their pupils in ways that make them more attractive for children.
Examples & Good Practices
The culture of videogames:
the world of the young and the world of the adults compared.
(Istituto IARD under the sponsorship of the Ministero per le Politiche Giovanili)
A new study about videogames indicated they have become "an increasingly social activity" particularly among parents and children.
Setting stereotypes aside, the study revealed gaming to be very much a social activity.
The project aims to develop informal skills through online games both for parents and children, making them play together.
After the first experimentationthe majority of the parents who performed the games with their children now see them as a positive activity for their kids: 73% believe that videogames teach their children about technology and 68% feel that they them with some “school skills”.
They value the skills kids learn through interactive games and can see the benefits both socially and educationally.
Project EDUCANDO – Marche Region
The Project Educando is an extra curricular activity for young girls and boys. It consists in carrying out computer and Internet related activities with the help of teachers and families (drawing, writing stories, games and animation, photography, acting etc).
The games favour “free creativity” in children and are also a way to communicate and to establish social relations with other children of the same age, with teachers and educators in a protected online environment.
Children and parents, guided by experts, produce Internet pages explaining the activities carried out.
Project EDUCANDO – SOME ACTIVITIES
The drawings were photographed and published on the project’s website in a Picture gallery in which the children added a story referring to the drawings.
INVENT THE ENDING
The children were read the beginning of a story and were invited to invent the end of it. The project’s website has a gallery of images representing the beginning of the story and the children have published with the help of their parents and teachers the end they invented.
COMMUNICATE WITH INTERNET:
BLOG: THE ONLINE DIARY
The children have been given the opportunity to write on Internet as if it were their own diary, free to express their thoughts on the day’s events.
FORUM: COMMUNICATE WITH INTERNET
Parents can use a Forum to exchange opinions over the project and communicate among themselves.
(Italian network for XXI century didactics and learning)
One-O-Five Live - Cultura
How to reduce the generation gap between parents and children in the use of computer and mobile phones: ISTRUCTION FOR THE USE
Cybermondo ... The important information for parents and children on the Internet. Risks for children: it is possible to keep the use of the computer under control…
Ministero delle Comunicazioni
FAMILY SPACE Stories that parents and children want to write together on the web.
TI SEI CONNESSO
How to use Internet
How are the main risks
How to prevent them
Internet and minors: Little Tom Thumb in the web
Developed by the 'International Crime Analysis Association-Italy”, to make parents and children aware of a safe Internet use
Sponsored by the Ministry of Communication, the Polizia Postale and the UNICEF
The project focuses on the assessment of children's’ behaviour outlining the molestation and enticement risks in chat rooms (i.e. contacts with paedophiles) and the dysfunctional behaviour of the adults (parents and teachers) who are in charge of control and prevention.
The projecthas developed the Little Tom Thumb in the Web to make parents and children aware of the norms for a safe navigation and to offer recommendations for a proper use of the web.
The project includes a guide to safety and to a proper use of technologies which will be used during the year as a support for a series of activities on the territory addressed to parents and teachers and supplying concrete elements of support for a safe Internet navigation for children.
Karvia - Finland
Project 2nd Meeting